Meridian Hill Drum Circle by Corinne Whiting
I admittedly love DC, first and foremost, because it feels partly mine. I picnicked in its triangular parks as a wee one (our downtown visits allowing my dad an excuse for an office reprieve); I’ve played tourist around its sites on countless field trips with classmates and relatives; I’ve frolicked along its brick sidewalks as a college student for the first time unleashed, unsupervised, in a big urban world. So, yes, it is familiar and yes, some of my favorite people of all time still call this place home. DC is indelibly etched into the story of what makes me me.
But sweep all that personal history to the side, and I can see this magnificent city as if through the eyes of a visitor (in fact, my job insists that I do). I recognize its allure for tourists and locals alike, and I’m grateful to have roots in a city that keeps me coming back for more.
Perhaps, more than anything, I love that a city stroll can take me on a global walkabout. A challenging game of name-that-flag along Embassy Row sends me past an exquisite tiled mosque, distinctive ambassadorial residences and multilingual, wide-eyed diplomats exploring their new ‘hood. In Mount Pleasant, with Mana playing on my iPod, I pass chatting men on overturned crates as impromptu vendors sell tamales nearby, and the sights, sounds and smells temporarily transport me to Latin America. Within a fifteen-minute bubble of my home, I can eat amazing Ethiopian food cooked by Ethiopian chefs, Thai cooked by the Thai, Peruvian cooked by Peruvians. Authenticity rules our culinary scene. And I love that, at certain dinner parties, I might meet new friends who’ve come from or lived in countries like Bulgaria and Brazil, Martinique and Morocco.
Washington DC Paper Ballot by NewsHour
The news was out this morning that 2.6 million people had already cast their ballots in North Carolina. You’ve probably seen reports here, and elsewhere, that lines in Arlington & the District were quite lengthy, up to several hours over the weekend.
So, how did our region do? Great question. No one seems to have the answer, or, if they do, they’re not telling. My phone call to the Arlington Electoral Board went unanswered, and Dan Murphy of the DCBOEE’s voicemail is so full it’s not taking more messages.
I guess we’ll have to wait to see if they’re going to unveil the statistics now, or after the election’s complete. Either way, I suspect we’ll see some of the best turnout this region’s seen in quite some time.
[Update 1] 35,021 people voted via absentee ballot in Arlington County, through Saturday, according to the Arlington County BOE. That’s roughly three times the number of people who voted absentee in 2004, and approximately a quarter of eligible voters. That’s more people that voted absentee in 2008 than voted in the 2007 general election.
[Update 2] Dan Murphy from DC BOEE got back to us late in the day and said: “I can tell you that we had somewhere around 12000–I can be more specific as we go through and process them, but that is a good ballpark at this point.” So, 12k out of 300k or so. Impressive!
So, if you run into trouble at the polls tomorrow, there are a bunch of great sites for Voters’ Rights. The ACLU brings us a whole plethora of voting rights guides for varying states and territories. However, DC isn’t one of them! In 38 of the 52 territories, you can find SOME resource for your voter’s rights on election day from the ACLU, including both Maryland & Virginia, but not in the District. D’oh!
Originally uploaded by law_keven
I have a landline, but I rarely use it. Usually it’s for stuff like calling the Chinese delivery place a couple blocks over, and so I have something that really works well in my Condo. It’s not that I get calls on it. Except this morning when it rang about 10:15am. It was a robo-call, I could tell immediately, but I gave it a second to rattle off its spiel before deciding it wasn’t going to waste my time or try to sell me more credit than I need.
It asked five simple questions and the whole thing took 30 seconds:
- Who would you vote for if the election was today?
- Which party do you trust with the economy right now?
- What’s your gender?
- What’s your race?
- What’s your age group?
And away it went. But it was all automated. It wasn’t a real person making minimum wage in a call center, it was a robot doing the polling. I got a little sad. Are you telling me there’s no Josh Lyman standing over a group of midwestern transplants and telling them to spit out their gum?! Sigh. The price of progress.
Olde Bourbon bottles by brent nashville
Personally, I find myself reaching for the bourbon bottle every time I see Gov. Palin on television spouting a sentence that even Slate’s crack team can’t diagram according to rules of English grammar. However, I understand there are reasons for one to feel the same way about Sen. Biden. Perhaps most recently when he asked the State Senator from Missouri to stand up. Despite being in a wheelchair.
The whole thing has me thinking that drunk as a skunk is the only way to turn on the television tonight. So. Here’s a couple ways to play along with your favorite liquor.
My friends Dori & Tom have whipped up a sweet Palin Bingo card for tonight’s debate. And, We Love DC author Ben Stanfield has whipped up another set of rules for tonight’s debate that will get you utterly soused.